Archives for posts with tag: Sam Shepard

“Fool for Love” (1985) is based on an off-Broadway play, is written by and stars Sam Shepard, and is directed by Robert Altman. So it’s basically heroin for elite movie critics. I don’t like plays. I thought it sucked. Unlikeable white trash. It’s some bizarre story of inbreeding and wife cheating told in such a way that you can’t tell what’s true and what isn’t, and you don’t care either way. For a brief moment in the middle, there is a stretch of plot exposition. That is the only interesting part. And then it reverts back to a redneck shoutfest.

“The Right Stuff” (1983) was nominated for Best Picture and lost to “Terms of Endearment.” Sam Shepard (who plays a badass test pilot) was nominated for Best Actor and lost to Jack Nicholson (who plays a pretend astronaut) from “Terms.” (I’ve never seen “Terms.”) “The Right Stuff” has slipped from the public consciousness. That’s unfortunate, because it’s a modern-day epic about the birth of the U.S. space program. It is also epic in length (193 minutes), which might be why it is overlooked. It’s worth sitting through just to learn Chuck Yeager’s story and peek behind NASA’s sanitized public image.

Organized crime isn’t all spaghetti and pole dancers. “Killing Them Softly” (2012) takes a look at the darker side (addiction, revenge, murder), sometimes in vivid, slow-motion sequences that are either grotesquely tedious or stylishly, um, stylish. Apparently, there’s some kind of metaphor going on, too. It has something to do with the Wall Street meltdown and the 2008 presidential election. Brad Pitt explains it all at the end. The fact that he has to explain it all is not a ringing endorsement of the movie’s first 96 minutes. But if you’re in the mood for a mob flick, it’ll do.